Archive for the ‘Lyn Lifshin’ Category


The deaf ones leave a note in
the house you don’t still wait
for him in, unable to call.
“For old times sake,” he
writes. Or was it a blow job?
Others send postcards from
Miami, they’ve said the same
thing 16 years. Suddenly they
stop. Your present boyfriend’s
daughter was 7 when the post
cards came. Now she’s wanting
a baby. Most, you never hear
from again. It’s a jolt to read
their obituary, especially if you
left them. Almost a relief with
the ones you cared for too much.
No old boyfriends have called
me for dinner or brunch. Once
I could count them, the lovers,
at least waiting hours in an
airport with nothing to do.
They are probably on a list in
a poetry notebook in some
archives. I remember my cats,
from 6 years old more clearly.
Of course there weren’t as
many. Old boyfriends come
back in dreams and when I
wake up I’m not sorry. One
writes poems about a woman
in clothes like mine who looks
like me. Hardly any have asked
for money or good wishes on
a marriage. The ones, never quite
lovers, haunt the most like a
book you couldn’t put down
but never finished, left behind in
some abandoned railroad station
you won’t get back to again

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AUGUST 27 by Lyn Lifshin

flat, all the way
to Canada. 65 and the
hideous tropic rain
air gone. Some
thing over. A back
to school fall sky.
I’m sleeping in the
car to escape as if
there’d be nights with
a finger nail moon
and you again, with
that grin, my black
dress on the floor

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